- To clean your septic tank, uncover the tank, look for cracks and leaks, clean out the filter, measure the depth of the waste inside the tank, then have a professional pump out the waste. Part 1 Readying the Tank Download Article 1 Find your tank. Start from the sewer pipe in the lower level of your house, if possible.
How do u know when your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
How do I clean out my septic tank?
To clean your septic tank, uncover the tank, look for cracks and leaks, clean out the filter, measure the depth of the waste inside the tank, then have a professional pump out the waste.
How often should a septic tank be pumped out?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
How do I remove sludge from my septic tank?
How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping
- Install an aeration system with diffused air in your septic tank.
- Break up any compacted sludge.
- Add a bio-activator or microbe blend.
- Maintain the aeration system.
- Add additional Microbes as required.
How long does it take to pump out a septic tank?
How long does it take to pump a septic tank? A septic tank between 1,000 – 1,250 gallons in size generally takes around 20-30 minutes to empty. A larger tank (1,500 – 2,000 gallons) will take about twice as long, between 45-60 minutes.
What to put in septic tank to break down solids?
Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.
Does shower water go into septic tank?
From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.
What if my septic tank has never been pumped?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
Can you pump your septic tank yourself?
Technically, you can clean a septic tank yourself. However, professionals do not recommend that you do so. A professional has the tools needed to properly pump your tank. A professional also has the knowledge and training to remove all of the waste from your tank and dispose of it properly.
How often should a 1000 gallon septic be pumped?
But here are some general guidelines: Family of 2, 500-gallon tank – pump every 2.5 years. Family of 3, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 4 years. Family of 5, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 2 years.
Where does a septic tank get pumped from?
Rather than pumping waste through sewer mains to a central sewage treatment facility, a septic system pumps solid and liquid waste from the house out into a drain field and underground septic tank.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
• The total amount of wastewater produced by a household The amount of solids in wastewater is measured in cubic meters. a measure of the size of the septic tank
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed.
Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment structures, known as septic systems, are commonly used in rural areas where there are no centralized sewer systems. They treat wastewater from household plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A typical septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, also known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to digest organic matter and to separate floatable matter (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You use well water
- In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
Be in the know: The ins and outs of Septic Tank Pumping
Once you have hired Shankster Bros (a septic tank cleaning business in Indiana) to check, service, and pump your septic tank, it is our obligation to complete the work correctly with the least amount of expense, inconvenience, and delay as possible. Because many homeowners are interested in how their systems operate, the following is an overview of the ins and outs of septic tank pumping:
Keep a Septic Cleaning Schedule
According to the American Septic Tank Association, septic tank pumping and cleaning should be performed every 3 to 5 years based on home size, wastewater demands, and overall consumption. In several of our past blog postings, we discussed the need of having a documented schedule of septic service appointments. Regular cleanings and pumpings of your septic tank reduce the accumulation of scum and sludge layer in your tank, allowing your septic system to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Accumulated Solids in Your Septic Tank
The overall depth of the scum layer floating on top of the septic tank, together with the depth of the sludge layer in the bottom of the tank, should never exceed one-quarter of the total volume of the septic tank’s total volume of contents. The accumulation of sediments in the output pipe and out into the drain field lines is highly likely to cause blockage and failure of the drain field if this occurs, as a result of insufficient service provided. Pumpings of septic tanks will need to be performed more often until the drain field is restored if you have a septic drain field failure on your hands.
Homeowners may find it unpleasant and expensive to repair or replace a broken drain field, which is why we recommend that they do routine maintenance on their drainage system.
Digging Up Your Septic Tank Lids
Typical septic tanks are buried 1 to 3 feet below ground level, and many have risers that extend to the surface, allowing for easy access to the tank for cleaning. While some tanks are simply buried with no lids at the surface, others are buried deeper and require more comprehensive study and excavation in order to be serviced. Of course, when we service your septic system, we make every effort to leave your property as clean and undamaged as possible. If you are not the original owner of a septic system, or if the system is very ancient, it may be more difficult to maintain.
To find out more about how to service your septic tank pump system, where to locate your septic tank or drain field, or the requirements of an older septic system, please contact our office at (260) 982-7111.
How to Care for Your Septic Tank
Septic systems are built in around one-fourth of all residences in the United States, and they are particularly common in rural regions that are not served by municipal sewer systems. In contrast to conventional sewage systems, which pump solid and liquid waste from the home into sewer mains and then to a centralized sewage treatment plant, septic systems pump waste from the house out into a drain field and an underground septic tank.
How Septic System Works
The water and wastes carried by the water in a standard septic system go down the home’s drain system and through a single main sewer pipe to the septic tank, where they are treated. It is possible for wastewater to flow only by gravity or with the aid of an electric pump. However, this is not always the case. The septic tank is designed to store waste material for an extended period of time, allowing solids to sink to the bottom while oil, grease, and liquids – later known as scum — float to the top.
As bacterial activity breaks down the pathogens, the liquids slowly trickle down through the soil and into the groundwater.
Meanwhile, the solids in the tank break down under the impact of anaerobic bacteria, forming a sludgy sludge that settles in the bottom of the tank.
Margot Cavin’s The Spruce is a novel about a woman who grows up on a spruce grove.
Anatomy of a Septic Tank
The septic tank is a water-tight container constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that is placed in the ground in a location close to the house to collect waste. It is comprised of an entrance pipe through which all waste from the home’s sewage line is directed into the tank and an output pipe through which liquids are directed to the drain field.
Unless you look closely, the top of the tank is buried just below the level of the earth and is completely inaccessible except for one or two inspection tubes and a manhole cover, which is used to pump sludge from the tank when it becomes required.
When to Have Your Septic Tank Pumped
An inspection of a septic tank should be performed every two to three years, with mechanical pumping necessary every three to five years to empty the tank, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pumping may be required on a yearly basis for systems that are inadequate or that receive a lot of demand. System components such as electrical float switches, pumps, and mechanical components must be examined more frequently, generally once a year, in certain cases. When you pump your septic tank, you’re getting rid of sludge from the bottom of the tank, and you need to do it as soon as possible since sludge can build up to the point where it stops the outflow pipe, which allows liquids to flow into the drain field.
- Typical for larger houses, waste generation increases, causing the septic tank to fill up more quickly
- Size of the household The amount of wastewater produced is as follows: If there is an excessive amount of wastewater going into the septic tank, it might have an impact on how quickly the tank fills. The amount of particles included in the wastewater is as follows: Households with a large number of toilets or who often use garbage disposals have a tendency to fill their septic tanks more quickly. Septic tank capacity: Larger tanks can retain more solid sludge and, as a result, will need to be pumped less frequently.
There are a few methods that might assist you in estimating when you should have your tank pumped. For example, a typical four-bedroom house may have a 1,200 to 1,500 gallon tank, and if you have a family of four, you may expect to have the tank pumped every 3 to 5 years under normal circumstances.
How a Septic Tank Is Pumped
The expert who inspects and services your septic tank will notify you when it is necessary to pump out the sludge from the tank, if you have a septic service professional who does so on a regular basis. This occurs when the floating scum layer that exists between the sludge and the floating water is within approximately 6 inches of the outflow pipe leading to the drain field. Septic service specialists arrive in a huge tanker truck with vacuum equipment, and when the lid has been removed from the septic tank, they introduce a large hose into the tank through the manhole they have created.
This helps to break up the particles and mix them with the liquid material, which helps the pumping process run more efficiently.
Tips for Maintaining Septic System
There are various proactive actions you can take to ensure that your septic system runs properly and that the frequency with which it must be pumped is reduced. These include the following:
- Reduce your water use. Utilizing toilets and faucets with high water efficiency and water conservation may significantly reduce the quantity of water that enters the septic system and causes it to backup. Water leaks and drips should be repaired as soon as possible in order to avoid misuse of water, which can lead to the septic tank filling up faster. Reduce the amount of solid trash produced: Another technique to ensure that the septic system is operating correctly is to keep track of the solid waste that enters it. Trash that is either washed down the drain or flushed down the toilet can cause the septic system to become overburdened. Other than toilet paper, don’t flush anything down the toilet. Also, avoid utilizing a trash disposer that dumps organic food wastes into the septic system, which might cause problems. Even though it takes only a small amount of effort, throwing things in the trash makes a significant difference in how well the septic system is managed. Rainwater should be directed away from the drain field. Rain gutters and landscaping grading that direct water into the septic system’s drain field can impair the field’s capacity to distribute water from the septic system.
- Hot tubs should not be drained into the sewer system. Water from hot tubs or swimming pools should be discharged onto the yard rather than into the drain field, since this might impose an unnecessary strain on a septic system. It is best not to flush chemicals down the toilet. Chemicals can interfere with the bacterial process that breaks down solid wastes, so avoid flushing them down the drain. There are also several other commercial septic tank additives, which are often more harmful than beneficial. Use of septic tank chemicals is not recommended unless it has been prescribed by a trustworthy specialist.
Everything You Need to Know About Your Septic Tank
What is a septic tank, and how does it work? A septic tank is a water-tight container that is often constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene to prevent flooding (plastic). In fact, it is only one component of the entire septic system, which includes several other components such as a distribution box, pumps, float switches, aerators, filters, and other accessories. Septic systems are used to treat wastewater on-site in many rural and suburban areas that do not have access to centralized sewage systems.
If your home is equipped with a septic system, you will almost certainly discover a septic tank buried in your yard. The components of a conventional septic tank are depicted in the diagram below. A septic tank is made up of six major components. These are:
- The Tank: This is the water-tight tank into which wastewater from your house is sent once it has been collected. A hole, crack, or any other structural deterioration should not be present. Access Ports: When a trained pumper comes to clean up your tank, they will utilize an access port. When it comes to tank cleaning, it is critical that the access port be large enough to allow the pumper to move the hose about within the tank properly. Risers are commonly used to elevate tank access up to ground level, so that you don’t have to dig up your septic tank every time it needs pumped out. Last but not least, the access port should be securely secured with a child-resistant lid. It is vital for the protection of your family that septic tank lids are securely fastened with screws and that they are not cracked or damaged. Pipes for entering and exiting the septic tank: Wastewater from your house enters the septic tank through the intake pipe. After the particles have settled out, the effluent is discharged from the septic tank through the exit pipe and into the drainage field. There should be roughly 3 inches between the output pipe and the intake pipe. A baffle is fitted on the intake pipe within the tank, and it serves to keep the water out. It provides a variety of functions. Additionally, it helps to avoid the build-up of scum and its backup into the intake pipe It is also important for solids to settle in the tank that the input baffle be properly installed. When wastewater enters the septic tank, it should hit the entrance baffle, which will reduce the flow and prevent the tank from becoming agitated. This permits the contents of the septic tank to remain at rest, allowing the solids to sink to the bottom of the tank. The intake baffle can also prevent odorous odors from entering the sewage line and spreading throughout the home or business
- And It is even more crucial than the inlet baffle to have an exit baffle in place because it helps to prevent scum and other particles from flowing directly into the outflow pipe and eventually into the drain field. Gas Deflector/Effluent Filter: As gas bubbles climb to the top of a septic tank, they may bring sediments with them. This is why an effluent filter is used. A gas deflector prevents these solid-carrying gases from entering the output line by preventing them from entering. However, while not every septic tank is equipped with an effluent filter, it is strongly suggested as an additional safety to prevent particulates from entering your drain field.
Any of the above-mentioned components in your septic tank should be checked for damage or missing parts as soon as possible, and the problem should be resolved by a septic system specialist. What is the operation of a septic tank? Each and every drop of wastewater from your home is channeled via a main drainage pipe and into your septic tank. Solids are prevented from entering your drain field by using the septic tank, which is just a settling tank that serves as a filter. Ideally, the water should be kept in the tank for at least one day in order to enable time for the solids to settle.
- Heavy materials, such as dirt and digested waste, will sink to the bottom of the tank and form a sludge layer at the bottom of the tank.
- Effluent is the term used to describe the liquid that exists between the sludge and scum layers.
- It is critical that solids are given adequate time and space to settle before being used.
- In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection mandates a minimum capacity of 900 gallons for any new septic tank installations in the state (the table below shows recommended septic tank capacities for different sized homes).
- Ideally, you should have your septic tank emptied every two to three years, according to the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA).
- If a drain field has been ruined by a buildup of sediments, it might cost tens of thousands of dollars to rebuild it.
- It is crucial to understand that your septic tank must be completely filled with liquid in order to function effectively.
- The septic tank diagram shown above depicts the correct operating level of a septic tank in a residential setting.
- The result is that whenever more wastewater is added to the tank, an equal volume of effluent will be discharged from the tank and drain into the drain field.
- The opposite is true if the liquid level is higher than the outflow line, which may signal a blockage in a line downstream from the septic tank or in the drain field.
If you’re wondering if your septic tank is full, a skilled pumper will consider it “full” once solids have filled one-third of the tank’s capacity. This is the time of year when your septic tank will need to be pumped.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank.
However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if utilized excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter captures suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Inquire with your contractor about installing an effluent filter on the outflow pipe of your tank. If you choose to install one, it will likely cost $50 to $100, plus work.) This device helps prevent sediments from entering the drain field and will need to be cleaned out by a contractor on an as-needed basis.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other options before proceeding with the project.
- Clean the pipes. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial product (not a home-made one) that increases the amount of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.
The In’s and Out’s of How a Septic Tank System Works
Houses in rural locations that are too far apart for a sewage system to be installed are equipped with septic tanks, which are less expensive to maintain than sewer systems. A septic tank is just a huge concrete or steel tank that is buried in the ground in a yard or garden. Your tank has a capacity of up to 1,000 gallons of liquid. In the event that your house is equipped with a septic tank and this is your first time dealing with one, you may have a lot of questions about how a septic tank system operates.
- The following is a diagram: A: Wastewater inB: Scum layerC: WaterA: Wastewater out D: Sludge Substratum To Drain the Field (E) It is necessary to understand that your septic system is composed of three levels.
- Scum is formed when everything that floats rises to the surface of the water and collects there (B).
- In the middle, there is a layer of water that is relatively transparent.
- As additional water is introduced into the tank, it displaces the water that has previously been introduced.
- Typically, drain fields are constructed of perforated pipes that are buried in gravel-filled ditches.
- In this diagram, water travels down from the home (A) to the tank (B), and then down from the tank to the drainfield (C) through the distribution box (D).
- Although a septic tank might be very simple to comprehend, this does not imply that you should attempt to repair or maintain it on your own.
A professional to perform regularly planned maintenance or to pump out your tank is what Diversified Plumbing is all about. Contact us today for more information. We are a septic tank company that serves the whole state of Florida’s Southwest region. Call today for a no-obligation quote!
How a Septic Tank System Works
The most popular form of septic system is composed of four major components:
- A sewer exit pipe that transports wastewater from the residence to the septic tank while also venting noxious gases up and out of the house. Septic tank composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that is underground and waterproof
- It is typically put around 6 feet away from a house. It comprises of one or more distributor boxes and a network of pipes that are buried in relatively shallow trenches that are generally filled with gravel or other filler
- The drainfield The soil, which contains microorganisms that digest the majority of toxins before they reach groundwater
How it Works
The wastewater from the house is flushed or washed into the septic tank through the exit pipe and into the drain field. Heavy solids settle to the bottom. Over the course of 24-48 hours, the solids decompose and produce a sludge layer. A scum layer forms at the top of the tank’s liquid due to the accumulation of lighter floatablesolids, such as grease, oils, and fats, which float freely. Solid waste is continually being broken down by the bacteria that dwell in the septic tank. Because of the fittings on the tank, scum and sludge are prevented from running out into the drainfield.
Bacteria in the tank partially treat or “clarify” the effluent before it is discharged.
The liquid flows into the soil layers, where microbes filter and digest any toxins that may have gotten into the system.
A claim made by companies that manufacture and sell biological additives is that their product restores the bacterial equilibrium of the septic tank and that doing so is important as part of a periodic monthly maintenance program. However, because bacteria already exist in human feces, these additions are typically not required.
Biochemical additive manufacturers and sellers occasionally assert that their product restores the bacterial balance of a septic tank and that this is required as part of a periodic monthly maintenance program. These additions are not generally required because germs may already be found in human feces.
- There is a 6 inch gap between the bottom of the scum (grease) layer and that of the bottom of the outlet tee
- And a 12 inch gap between the top of the sludge layer and the top of the outlet tee.
After the tank has been pumped, there is no need to “reseed” it with new material. Seeding is the process of promoting excellent bacterial growth by introducing substances such as yeast, dung, or dead animals. The Department of Health and Human Services does not propose seeding the system since the sheer act of utilizing the system will give all of the germs necessary to ensure that the system functions properly. Yeast, dung, meat, and dead animals will not assist develop the colony of bacteria in the tank any faster.
General Advice on Septic Tank Pumping Frequency
- A single tenant has a pump that has to be replaced every 12 years
- Two people have a pump that needs to be replaced every 6 years
- Four inhabitants have a pump that needs to be replaced every 3 years. The number of inhabitants is six, and the pump is replaced every two years. The number of inhabitants is 8
- The pump is replaced once a year.
- A single tenant has a pump that has to be replaced every 12 years
- Two people have a pump that needs to be replaced every 6 years
- Four occupants have a pump that needs to be replaced every three years. 6 people live there
- The water is pumped every two years. — Pumping every year for a total of 8 residents.
- Pump every 19 years for one resident
- One pump every nine years for another resident
- Four pumps every four years for the remaining inhabitants
- And one pump every four years for the remaining occupants. A pump is required for each of the following numbers of residents: 6 for every 3 years
- 8 for every 2 years.
Septic Tank Alerts Septic Tank Alerts
How Does a Septic System Work?
7th of July, 2020
Did you know?Your septic system is likely the most expensive appliance in your house!
Simple steps taken today will both save you headaches in the future and ensure that your system continues to function properly, allowing trash to be kept out of our waterways.
For Our Water
Septic systems that are not adequately maintained can discharge untreated or partially treated sewage into neighboring streams and rivers, as well as into groundwater. Waste that has not been handled poses a threat to human health and degrades the quality of water. Overabundance of fertilizers and fecal bacteria in Howard County’s streams has caused significant impairment.
However, while the majority of Howard County’s Poor and Very Poor grade streams are concentrated in the densely urbanized districts of Ellicott City, Elkridge, and Columbia, there are a few others in Western Howard County that are classified as Very Poor, Poor, or Fair.
For Your Home
Septic systems that are not adequately maintained might experience early failure, resulting in sewage backups in the residence and sluggish drainfields. By taking care of your septic system today, you may reduce the likelihood of having to make a costly repair in the future, saving you money. Depending on the scope of the work required and whether or not there is a suitable place for a second drainfield, system repairs can cost upwards of $50,000. Maintaining the utility of an existing drainfield allows it to last for a longer period of time.
How does a Septic System Work?
Septic systems are decentralized sewage-treatment systems that play a vital role in making your house livable while also preserving the water quality in the surrounding area, according to the EPA. 1. You have flushed something down the toilet. It makes its way to the septic tank, where it sits and separates from the other waste. Essentially, septic systems work on the water in/water out principle; for example, when you flush a gallon of water down the pipes, a gallon of water travels into the drainfield.
- Hydraulic overload is one of the most prevalent causes of a septic system to fail before its expected time.
- A large amount of water applied at once causes the scum and sludge layers to get agitated.
- On the right is a tank that is regularly loaded.
- Precautions that you can take include:
- Pipes that are dripping or leaking should be repaired to avoid extra water from entering the sewage system. Water-saving fixtures should be installed in place of older models. Showers, loads of laundry, and dishwashing, for example, should be spaced out across time. Caution should be exercised while using water softeners, since they discharge enormous quantities of backwash into the septic tank. If you use a water softener, be sure your tank and drain field are both large enough.
Toilet paper and garbage decomposes within the tank’s interior. However, many objects that are labeled “flushable” are not, and will remain in the tank until they are removed manually. It is possible for your tank to become clogged if a large number of them accumulate. Precautions that you can take include:
- Items such as diapers, baby wipes, paper products other than toilet paper, cat litter, cigaretts, coffee grounds, feminine products, and kitchen garbage should not be flushed Do not use a garbage disposal because an excessive amount of organic waste produces an excessive amount of solids, which do not decompose in the septic tank. Using a garbage disposal will increase the frequency with which your tank will need to be pumped. Instead, consider creating a compost pile. Observe a regular maintenance plan and empty your tank as necessary. Solids that will not break down are removed from the tank by pumping it.
Inside the tank, there is naturally-occurring specialist bacteria that lives there and processes the waste, which is beneficial to the environment. These live microorganisms are required by the septic system. Precautions that you can take include:
- Excessive household cleaners or excessive salt from a water softener can kill this bacteria
- Flushing solvents, pesticides, herbicides, motor oil, antifreeze, or paint is not recommended.
Keep in mind that everything you flush will eventually end up in your yard.
2. The wastewater leaves the tank and enters the drainfield.
Wastewater is channeled into perforated pipes that are embedded in the ground. Drainfields can take on a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the soil conditions; in general, they are planted under grass and put into gravelly pits. It’s in this location that wastewater is gently leached out into a yard, where soil continues to filter and clean the effluent. Drainfields rely on a precise balance between soil drainage capacity and surface water runoff. Precautions that you can take include:
- Planting trees near a drainfield is not recommended because their roots are problematic. No vehicles should be driven over or parked on the drainfield (or septic system).
- The weight of your car might cause pipes to collapse and dirt to compress, resulting in decreased drainage.
- The formation of biomats surrounding the perforated pipes occurs when a drainfield matures, if an excessive amount of particles is pushed out into the field, or if the drainfield remains too moist. As wastewater is discharged from the septic tank, these biomats form patches of slime that inhibit the drainfield from adequately absorbing the effluent.
A regular schedule of maintenance and treating your septic system well will prolong its life for the betterment of your home and surrounding waterways!
Join us for a future webinar to learn more about the critical function that your septic system plays in making your house habitable while also conserving our waterways. Register today.
Septic systems operation and maintenance overview
Here’s a quick outline of what you’ll need to do to ensure that your system operates and maintains at peak efficiency and for the longest possible life.
- Tank should be pumped on a regular basis. Check and pump the tank with the help of a professional. Conserve water and distribute its use over a longer period of time
- Solids should be managed. Keep dangerous products out of the house
- Allow the system to operate in its native state
- Compaction of the drainfield should be avoided. Excessive water should not be introduced into the drainfield. The drainfield’s structural integrity must be maintained.
Pump tank regularly
- Scum and sludge can accumulate in the drainfield and be swept away by the current. They will clog the drainfield, causing it to fail and necessitate the repair of the drainfield. The accumulation of scum and sludge in the tank lowers the amount of space available for wastewater storage.
- Many experts advocate pumping a tank every 2-3 years
- However, this is dependent on the amount and quality of wastewater produced. It’s also possible to create your own pumping intervals. Immediately after having your tank pumped, you should have a septic specialist examine it on a yearly basis until the scum and sludge layers have accumulated to a point when pumping is required. This will be your pumping interval until your waste generation rates change (either because someone has left or because a garbage disposal, additional people in the home, or children reaching adolescence has been installed). Depending on how and when your waste generation rates change, you will have to adjust the pumping interval accordingly.
Have a professional inspect and pump the tank
As an informed consumer, you should insist that the expert follow Nebraska state-mandated processes, which include the following:
- Pump the tank out of the manhole with a hand pump. If you pump via the inspection ports, you run the risk of damaging the baffles or tees, and it is difficult to thoroughly empty the tank. After pumping the tank and flushing back materials under pressure to dislodge any residual scum and sludge, pump the tank one more to completely empty it. Check for cracks in the tank and ensure that baffles or tees are properly installed. Ensure that the septage (materials from the tank, including liquids, scum, and sludge) is disposed of in a safe and legal way, often at a municipal wastewater treatment facility.
Conserve water and spread usage over a period of time.
Why? The tank is constantly filled, with the exception of the time immediately following pumping.
- The tank holds one gallon of wastewater, and for every gallon that enters, one gallon of effluent exits, entering the drain field. In order for the solids to separate in the tank, roughly 24 hours of retention time must be provided. It is possible that excessive water usage over a short period of time will prevent settling from taking place. Solids may be flushed out of the tank with the effluent
- This is possible. In a tank, rapid water flow may cause a wave motion to form, scouring the bottom and resurrecting muck, which can then be flushed out of the tank with the effluent.
- Laundry should be spread out throughout the course of the day, with 1-2 loads each day rather than 6 loads in one day. Reduce water use by installing low-flow aerators on shower heads and low-volume flush toilets (which use around 1.5 gallons each flush as opposed to previous models which used 6 to 7 gallons per flush)
- Leaks should be repaired. Take brief showers
- Turn off taps when shaving, brushing teeth, or doing other personal hygiene tasks. Inspect the washing machine to ensure that the load and water level settings (low, medium, and high) are acceptable.
- Solids in wastewater are referred to as scum or sludge. As a result, increased solids in the wastewater result in more frequent pumping owing to the accumulation of scum and sludge.
- If you have a garbage disposal, use it only when absolutely necessary. The usage of a garbage disposal on a regular basis creates additional solids. Depending on the circumstances, a tank may need to be pumped up to twice as often as a tank in a family that uses a trash disposal very sometimes or not at all. Instead, use compostable materials. Install an effluent filter on your septic tank with the help of a professional. It filters the effluent as it exits the tank, capturing suspended solids in the process. The effluent filter is less expensive and less difficult to maintain than a blocked drainfield. Grease and oil should not be flushed down the toilet. It has the potential to block the pipes and cause scum development. Throw away cigarette butts, face tissue, diapers, paper toweling, and feminine items in the garbage together with other solid waste. Install a lint filter in the washing machine to keep the machine clean. Consider the fact that lint is removed from your clothing in the washer in the same way that it is removed from your clothes in the dryer. Lint may accumulate in the septic tank and produce scum or sludge, or it may remain floating in the tank and flow out with the effluent to the drain field. When at all possible, use liquid detergents. Powdered materials include additives that solidify as sludge. Make use of toilet tissue that decomposes quickly. Shaking your toilet paper in a covered jar filled with water will reveal its quality. After less than one minute of shaking, the paper should begin to show symptoms of collapse.
Keep Hazardous Materials Out
- Pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides), medications, paints, paint thinners, solvents, and excess cleaning products are among the items that septic systems are not designed to handle. Septic systems are also not designed to handle pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides), medication, paints, paint thinners, solvents, and excess cleaning products. As a result of slowing down or killing beneficial soil microorganisms, and/or going to the groundwater table and contaminating it, these materials may contribute to system failure.
- Don’t misuse or dispose of surplus materials such as pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides), pharmaceuticals, paints, paint thinners, solvents, and cleaning goods down the drain
- Instead, recycle or compost the items. A system is capable of handling standard volumes of home cleaning agents, including antibacterial soaps, without requiring special attention. Use that is excessive may be damaging to the system. Excess quantities should be disposed of at a residential hazardous waste collection facility. It is best not to use automated toilet cleaning dispensers that include bleach. These put a continual antibacterial agent into the tank, which might interfere with the initial treatment process.
Let the system work naturally
- It is normal for good bacteria, which are required for early treatment, to be introduced into the septic tank by toilet usage and other wastewater creation
- Pumping does not eradicate beneficial bacteria from the tank. With the first flush after pumping, more bacteria are reintroduced into the system.
- Use of septic starters, additives, or feeders is not recommended. Some are ineffective and, as a result, are a waste of money. It’s possible that others will truly harm your system.
Avoid Drainfield Compaction
- Aerobic bacteria are an essential component of the treatment process that takes place in the soil. Pores in the earth are responsible for retaining air. Compaction will limit the porosity of the soil, and as a result, the amount of air accessible in the soil will decrease.
- It is not permitted to drive or park vehicles or farm machinery on the drainfield. Keep dog kennels and animal confinement facilities away from drainfields
- Do not build patios, decks, driveways, garages, or any other structures over the drainfield.
Avoid Introducing Excess Water to the Drainfield
- The use of automobiles or farm machinery on the drainfield is strictly prohibited. Avoid placing dog kennels or animal confinement facilities near the drainfield. Patios, decks, driveways, garages, and other structures should not be built over drainfields.
- Roof drains, downspouts, and basement drainage should be diverted. Water should be tiled outside the septic system and away from the drainfield. Irrigate only when absolutely necessary in the drainfield area. Always avoid flooding the drainfield region with huge volumes of water.
Maintain structural integrity of the drainfield.
- Do not add dirt to the area except to fill in minor depressions to prevent water from accumulating
- Keep rats and burrowing animals away from your home. Establish and maintain a grassy buffer zone around the drainage field. It is not permissible to put trees on or near the drainfield. It will be harmed by the roots.
For NEW systems, maintain a replacement drainfield area.
- It is required by regulations that newly constructed systems include a reserve area for replacement in the event that the first drainfield fails
- This reserve area must be handled in the same manner as the first drainfield.